Switch to Linebacker Could Signal the End for Shea McClellin

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Nov 4, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Seneca Wallace (9) is chased by Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers (90) and defensive end Shea McClellin (99) in the 2nd quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

What does Shea McClellin have in common with Gabe Carimi and Chris Williams?  Yes, they’re all former first round Chicago Bears draft picks and all “linemen” of sorts.  No, what these former first rounders have in common is that they’ve all changed positions during their stint with the Chicago Bears. They’re not all considered draft busts just yet, but McClellin might be booking a ticket to Bustville if things don’t take a turn for the third year pro in 2014 in his move from defensive end to linebacker.

We’ve been through this before, first with former first round pick Chris Williams, who was selected 14th in the 2008 draft out of Vanderbilt.  We were sold the bill of goods that he’d be the left tackle of the future when Jerry Angelo drafted him.  He came pre-injured, requiring back surgery pretty much as his first training camp opened.  By the time he was ready to contribute, he was little more than a fill-in in 2008.  In 2009, he was moved from LT to RT to “accommodate Orlando Pace” who was a career All Pro left tackle, but even his serviceable days were behind him.  A short stint as the starting LT followed in 2010, but after missing some games with a hamstring injury, he returned as a guard, as Mike Tice tried to cobble together a patchwork offensive line.  Williams’ saga ended when he was finally cut in 2011.

Then we move to Gabe Carimi, another former first rounder, selected by the Bears with the 29th pick in the 2011 draft.  He was going to be the right tackle of the future, a stud out of Wisconsin who proclaimed himself to be the best tackle in the draft at the Combine back in 2011.  At least Carimi made it through training camp, before he went down in Week 2 of his rookie season.

He never looked right after that knee injury, which had me likening him to Marc Columbo. Carimi was moved from tackle to guard during his comeback from injury in 2012.  When he couldn’t beat out J’Marcus Webb last offseason, he was traded to the Bucs for a 6th rounder.